[The following is an abridged translation of a leaflet sent to ASIET by the National Committee for Democratic Struggle (KNPD) which was distributed during the strike actions by workers from PT. Sindol and PT. Beta Mega Pertiwi.]
On the 22 and 23 September, 1997, workers from two factories, PT. Sindol and PT Beta Mega Pertiwi together with the National Committee for Democratic Struggle (Komite Nasional Perjuangan Demokrasi, KNPD) held a strike. On the first day they went on strike at the factory. On the second day they demonstrated at the national parliament. However not one of the 1,000 members of the Consultative Assembly who call themselves the "peoples' representatives" wanted to meet with the workers. So the workers decided to march to the Department of Labour. But they were blocked by the military resulting in pushing and shoving between workers and the military in front of the parliament building. As a result nine KNPD activists and two workers were arrested and as of September 25, has still not been released. What follows is a leaflet which was distributed on the second day.
United resisting oppression
PT. Sindol Pratama and PT. Mega Bea Pertiwi are part of a group of companies which produce shoes for export to a number of countries. A number of brands are produced including: Ellese, Starmon, Machtick, Rucanor, Sport and Postman. The factory employs 1,300 workers but despite the large profits the conditions in the two factories are the opposite. The management forces us to work overtime to meet production targets, is fraudulent and denies our rights. Overtime pay is still calculated on old minimum wage levels (152,000 Rupiah per month) and they do not provide food and transport allowance. We there for demand:
Wage deductions be made in accordance with Ministry of Finance regulation Number 29/KMK04/1994, dated January 25, 1994, Calculation of overtime wages use the new minimum wage levels; All forms of sanctions against workers be abolished;
Workers who are considered disobedient (refuse to work overtime, request sick leave, leave to return home and do not report for work) are suspended. During the period of suspension, they must continue to attend work but are only paid half wages; If workers mistakenly damages goods, they must pay the cost of the damage. This is despite the fact that the technology used by the company is old fashioned so it is difficult not to make mistakes. Given the low wages, this action is inhuman;
An end to workers being forced to work overtime which should be voluntary; A food allowance of 1,000 Rupiah per day, transport allowance of 800 Rupiah per day and an insurance premium of 5,000 Rupiah per week be provided; Workers who are sick and have a doctor's certificate continue to be paid. The company cover the cost of medicines; 1,000 Rupiah extra per day be paid for working the night shift; A weekly wage slip be provided; Dismissal the personal officer, who is ex-army and treats us as little more than machines in the production process. This is one of the reasons we are on strike, because we are disciplined as if we are in the military. Continue to be paid while on strike. It is our right to strike. No demotions, intimidation or sacking following a strike;
As well as the above demands, we also reject the newly enacted labour regulations which:
Allow workers to employed like contract workers which means workers can be arbitrarily sacked and abolishes the rights we have at the moment; Prevent workers from taking actions outside the factory. Our experience so far is that actions and negotiations within the factory come under more pressure from the company and benefit them; Obstruct the right to strike by requiring that the company and government be informed beforehand; Restrict the right to organise outside of the government controlled trade union FSPSI. ILO conventions stipulated that worker organisations must be independent and free from government intervention. This strike is evidence that SPSI cannot become a vehicle for workers' struggle.
[Translated by James Balowski]